Editor’s note: “Renovation Report” is a Mecklenburg Times profile of a property being renovated in the Charlotte area.
Starting this fall, employees from Senn Dunn Insurance will be working out of a roughly 7,000-square-foot space on the fifth floor of the Ally Center, at 440 S. Church St.
But if any of those employees would have walked into their future office space at the beginning of June, they would have found a bare space unfit for anything other than the construction work that was about to begin.
Randy Gonyea, director of construction services for Charlotte-based Trinity Partners Construction Services, the general contractor on the upfit, said construction began June 3 on the first-generation space.
The Ally Center was built in 2009, yet has never had a tenant in the space that Senn Dunn is set to occupy, Gonyea said, which means that the space is as unfinished as it was when the doors of the building opened more than four years ago.
“When we walked into that space in early June, it was just a concrete slab with the core structures – the bathrooms, the electrical (system) and the stairwells,” he said. “Everything else is open. You can see the slab above and below. There is no drywall or finishes anywhere, just a random light fixture in the middle.”
From that starting point, Gonyea and his team are responsible for the ground-up construction on the space. They’ll put in the walls, the offices, the ductwork, the plumbing, etc. Once all that is done, they move on to the finishes: the cabinets, carpet and paint. Or, as Gonyea put it, “the stuff that makes it look good.”
The biggest challenge of the upfit, however, is working in an uptown office tower, Gonyea said.
“Anybody can do work out in SouthPark, but it’s different when you’re uptown around a lot of people,” he said. “That’s where your experience and expertise shines through.
“You have to communicate with the property manager to make sure that you’re causing the smallest possible disturbance when you’re working uptown.”
GUION can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, (704) 817-1344 or on Twitter at @paytonguion.
Project description: An upfit preparing office space for Senn Dunn Insurance in the Ally Center.
Address: 440 S. Church St.
Cost: $188,200, according to Mecklenburg County records
Space under construction: 7,000 square feet
General contractor: Trinity Partner Construction Services
Construction begins: June 3
Completion date: End of July